Johanna Boss students shape successful narrative with 2019 prep graduation

Johanna Boss students shape successful narrative with 2019 prep graduation

About an hour after teaching his fellow graduates of Johanna Boss High School in Stockton the methodology of a “schoolboy knot,” sharply-dressed Valedictorian Ethan Ragan stepped to the lectern inside the OH Close Youth Correctional Facility auditorium, straightened his own tie, and shared even greater insight for success. “Although we have made some mistakes in our past, and have been through some struggles, we have turned a truly negative situation into a positive one by graduating here before you,” he said. “We know that we are not defined by our past, but by our present, and the decisions we make from here on will determine who we truly are.”

DJJ Johanna Boss High School students exhibit projects with pride

DJJ Johanna Boss High School students exhibit projects with pride

The description of a May 14 event at a Johanna Boss High School simply states students “at O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton will show academic growth and project-based learning methodologies, incorporating social and emotional themes in a Service Exhibition.” The youth created outlines for new charitable organizations, laid out planned community construction projects, created superheroes as a computer design project and achieved fitness goals in the gymnasium — all to show what they’ve learned through practical applications. Beneath that, however, was much deeper meaning – giving students the opportunity to be successful in an academic environment. For most of them, it was the first time they had such an experience.

Insight Garden’s installation at Stockton DJJ facility is the largest yet

Insight Garden’s installation at Stockton DJJ facility is the largest yet

Six months in the making, youth, staff, and community volunteers dedicated the construction of the largest of nine community gardens built on CDCR grounds and the first at a juvenile facility. Work on the half-acre garden at O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton began last October with a core of eight youth which grew to 15 over time, said Tylee Sewell, the lead organizer from Insight Garden Program (IGP), which first installed community gardens at San Quentin in 2002.